John Terpstra’s Disarmament is a new collection of poems from one of Canada’s great literary craftsmen. Ranging over difficult terrain, from Port-au-Prince to the Iroquois Bar, Terpstra is always ablethrough keen observation and playful, thoughtful use of languageto locate the moral centre. Terpstra’s poems open and close distancesbetween the present and the past, parent and child, one country and another, the old world and the new, teacher and student, presence and absence, the human and the divine.
Finalist for the 2004 Governor General’s Award for Poetry.
About the author
John Terpstra has published many books and chapbooks of poetry, the most recent of which, Disarmament, was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award in 2004. A retrospective of his work, Two or Three Guitars: Selected Poems, was published in 2006. Terpstra has also published three prose projects: Falling Into Place, a creative investigation of a giant glacial sandbar which lies beneath one of Canada’s busiest transportation corridors; The Boys, or, Waiting for the Electrician’s Daughter, the story of his wife’s three brothers, who lived with muscular dystrophy until their early twenties; and Skin Boat: Acts of Faith and Other Navigations, a frank reflection on faith and church in a secular era. He lives in Hamilton, Ontario.
“John Terpstra’s meditations have the soundness and snug fit of consummate carpentry... with the toughness of maple, the compassion of cedar.” Don McKay
“John Terpstra’s Disarmament is a marvellous and moving collection of poem cycles assembled from a decade of work...his dominant speaking voice is a fully developed and historicized personality, one who has been to places, actual places, has thought about them and likes to share what he thinks.” Jeffery Donaldson, Books in Canada